Sunday, December 16, 2007

CSO flows into the Harlem River

Another PERMITTED pollution discharge. This Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO) is on the Manhattan side of the Harlem River. The discharge water is steaming and gulls are eating the floating solids coming out of the sewer pipe.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dredge spoil dump on Houghtaling Island

Dredge process water is being discharged from the spoil dump on Houghtaling Island into Schodack Creek. Permit?

We were unable to get the "Fletcher" north past Saugerties in early December because of ice.

Trailered the skiff to Stuyvesant to investigate an active ACE dredge spoil dump on Houghtaling Island.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Beach Cleanup in Haverstraw

Sign on the public beach at Haverstraw.

Beach cleanup at "Black Beach" with Keep Rockland Beautiful staff and volunteers.

This beach is accessible by boat only so we assist with cleanups. It's located just south of Tilcon loading docks at Haverstraw.

Homeward Bound Hound

Saturday, October 27, 2007

CSO flowing in Troy

Troy, just above City Marina. A massive discharge from a CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) discharge during heavy rain event. See the DEC permit sign on the fence above the discharge.

We often see locals fishing at this location. Riverkeeper is working with local municipalities, the NYSDEC and local sewer plants to reduce sewage overflows and install proper disinfection systems at plants in Albany, Troy and Rensselaer.

This sign in Troy represents a NY State PERMIT TO POLLUTE. These signs are all up and down the Hudson.

Friday, October 19, 2007

LDEO's Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler

Photo by John Lipscomb
Philip Orton of Lamont-Doherty (LDEO) with his ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) which we've just retrieved from the bottom on Tappan Zee. It's been measuring and recording current direction and speed at all depths for over a month.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Patrolling Piermont Marsh

Photos by John Lipscomb

Patrolling Piermont Marsh with (l to r) Bill Herguth, owner of Paradise kayak rentals in Piermont, Rockland County Legislator Connie Coker and Police Officer Bauer of the Rockland County Sheriff Marine Unit.

Riverkeeper is leading an effort to have the creeks within the marsh designated as "no wake" zones the prevent boating accidents and to protect wildlife and habitat.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Drinking from the Hudson

Photo by John Lipscomb

Drinking water intake at Port Ewen, just south of Kingston. A number of Hudson Valley communities intake, filter and disinfect river water for their municipal water supply. Including the Poughkeepsie. Water quality isn't just important for the fish.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Clams in Haverstraw Bay

Photo by John Lipscomb
There are millions of these beautiful little clams in the sediment in Haverstraw Bay. They are a brackish water mollusc called "Rangia cuneata" native to the Gulf of Mexico. They either invaded or re-colonized the lower Hudson in the 1980's. Rangia are harvested in some parts of the eastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico but eating them here might be risky. 

Riverkeeper/Lamont-Doherty sampling periodically finds violation levels of sewage related microbes in Haverstraw Bay and the local tributaries.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Waterkeepers from China patrol the Hudson

We were joined by two visitors from China, Yun Jian Li, the Han River Waterkeeper, and Zhang Jun Feng, the North Canal Riverkeeper, to take a tour of the Hudson River during their New York stay before heading down to New Orleans for the Waterkeeper Alliance Convention.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Radioactive contamination in shellfish studied

Photos by John Lipscomb
Patrolled with Indian Point Policy Analyst Phillip Musegaas. We gathered clams from the bottom of the east end of Haverstraw Bay in a “practice run” to prepare for eventually having clams and other shellfish analyzed for radioactive contamination that may be a result of the leaks from Indian Point’s spent fuel pools. Radionuclides, particularly strontium-90, concentrate in the bones and shells of fish and shellfish. Several samples of Hudson River fish have already shown slightly elevated levels of strontium-90, but the results are inconclusive because of fish migration patterns. Sampling shellfish would provide a better picture of the leaks’ effects on the Hudson ecosystem. Testing clams for strontium-90 is especially critical because they are a major food source for Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon that winter in Haverstraw Bay.

Photo above shows clams and typical (healthy) bottom sediment in lower estuary.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Supporting DEC's Atlantic Sturgeon Study

This Atlantic Sturgeon was caught in Haverstraw Bay on May 23rd. He's 7'3" and weighs 200 lbs. DEC Fisheries tells us that approximately 300 female and 700 male spawning age Atlantic Sturgeon remain in the Hudson. They were almost fished out for their meat and eggs (caviar) before the fishery was closed in 1996. Recovery will be very slow because female don't spawn until they are around 20.

The DEC attaches satellite and sonic tags so that the fish can be tracked over time. We have to know their habits to protect them. Riverkeeper, patrol boat assists by lifting the hydrophone moorings and buoys at Hastings and at Catskill twice a year to download data.

We love this project.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Illegal dumping in Garrison stopped

Photos by John LipscombHudson Riverkeeper & President Alex Matthiessen joined the patrol to check on pollution reports. He also met with citizens in Hudson seeking assistance with details in their Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP).


We recorded this Garrison dumping site in April. After relaying the images to the office, Riverkeeper staff insisted that local Garrison officials require an immediate clean-up (or “stop work order”) on this construction site. Garrison officials agreed and the site was quickly cleared.


Checking the water quality in Newtown Creek

We did sampling in the East River with Lamont-Doherty's Greg O'Mullen and his crew, as part of our water quality pilot program. We also patrolled with City Limits Reporter and a PBS film crew.

Discovered a new oil absorb that Exxon installed at Meeker Avenue. This is at the eastern end of the original plume which is migrating. We suspect that the plume has found a new route into the creek.

At the east branch of Newtown Creek we found a discharge from a cement plant. We have had a successful prosecution of another cement plant on the Creek. This is a second plant we’re investigating. We’ve commented on this discharge and it ended. It has since started up again.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Northern Hudson Observations

Photos by John Lipscomb

Sign by waterfront at Fort Edward. THANK YOU GE!

We saw a bunch of turtles sunning on half submerged logs just below Champlain Canal lock 4 on our way up to Fort Edward - but I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo. Southbound on the 13th they were all still there. Something about this particular spot really pleases them.

5/13: The Hudson River is this guy’s personal dumpster. This property is located just north of Waterford on the east bank of the Hudson River/Champlain Canal before you get to Lock 1. I’ve talked to the property owner, his neighbor and the County Police boat – all to no avail. We’ll have to try another angle.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

An unlucky catch

Photos by John Lipscomb
5/11 - Catch and release doesn’t always work as well as one would hope. Fishing with lures and circle hooks versus traditional hooks with bait increases fishes' chance of survival.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Solar powered catamaran visits the Hudson River

Photos by John Lipscomb
5/8: Sun21, the solar powered catamaran developed and sponsored by the Swiss Transatlantic21 Association made its historic arrival in New York City’s North Cove Marina. The arrival completed the 7,000-mile journey across the Atlantic of the motorized boat that was powered solely by the sun.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Taking Attorneys and Press out on Newtown Creek

Out on Newtown Creek with an editorial crew from New York Magazine.

Church property on Harlem River.

Newtown Creek with Attorneys from Girardi and Keese and a film crew. This legal team successfully prosecuted the famous Erin Brockovich case and now they’re going after EXXON on behalf of local home and business owners in Greenpoint Brooklyn.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Tracking Atlantic Sturgeon in the Hudson

Riverkeeper assists the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Fisheries of New Paltz with installing hydrophones that track sturgeon of spawning age. An important part of this program is catching Atlantic Sturgeon and attaching computerized tags. There are 1,000 (700 males and 300 females) left in the estuaries. Protection of sturgeon spawning grounds and habitat is essential.

Interstate Environmental Commission collecting water quality indicators and enterococcus.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

River Herring in the Hudson in decline

Two almost dead herring in a holding pen at a bait supplier's dock. When they are almost dead their eyes fog up - like cataracts. River Herring (Alewife and Blueback) are taken during their spawning runs as bait for the recreational Stripped Bass fishery. Populations of both (as well as Shad, which is also a herring) have crashed in the region.

In Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut all herring fisheries are closed. It's illegal to POSSESS a herring in those states but in NY the fishery continues. In NY the DEC would like to have better science on the health of the River Herring runs but the Fisheries Unit hasn't received sufficient funding in the past to gather that data. Without data it's hard to institute management plans or closures. 

Riverkeeper is asking that protection of the Hudson's signature species be fully funded and given the highest priority. Learn more.

Photo by John Lipscomb
4/28: The Half Moon. A replica of Henry Hudson’s ship.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Patrolling north through the federal dam

We were southbound from Waterford through the Federal Lock at Troy. Below this last lock is the tidal estuary - 150 miles to the Battery. This Lock Keeper is always interested to know what's happening on the river so we held the lock to compare river notes. These are interesting men - like lighthose keepers.

This is a well established nest near Coeymans. Looks like mom or pop is standing watch.
In the past RK has reported tree cutting and land clearing activity near this nest to the DEC.
For almost 100 years there were no nesting pairs on the HR Estuary - now there are at least 18. Full credit goes to the DEC Endangered Species Unit.

On 6/28 the US Dept. of the Interior removed the Bald Eagle from the endangered species list. The birds are still protected by the Bald Eagle Act of 1940.

We checked a backwater tidal steam and marsh near the eagle nesting site. The deck of the bridge has been removed but people are crossing on the steel beams and there is a well worn path heading off into the wooded/wild area next to the river. The "Road Closed" sign has a hundred or so bullet holes in it. A guy with a gun can do a lot of damage to signs - and wildlife. Riverkeeper is asking the State to set aside more land for wildlife protection in the upper Estuary.

Photos by John Lipscomb
John Mylod fishing just South of Poughkeepsie for Shad. He reported lots of bass and strippers but only the beginning of Shad.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tanker in Hyde Park

Photos by John Lipscomb
4/25: Tanker anchored off Hyde Park. This is the same anchorage spot where Exxon was caught discharging oily wastewater into the River back in the 1980’s.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Harlem River patrol

Photos by John Lipscomb4/20/07: Sited a third dumping spot at the church property on the Harlem River near Highbridge. All last year they used only two locations. This property has been dumping all kinds of trash and waste into the River. We have contacted the church numerous times and Riverkeeper has been gently asking for a cleanup for a year now.

Leaving Harlem River at dawn.
Catch of the Day. After last week's nor’easter we caught a "Tenfootinflatablerubberboatfish". Species common to marinas and yacht harbors.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Gowanus Canal Water Quality - Yuck!

Photos by John Lipscomb
Sample from the bottom of the Gowanus Canal

4/18/07: At the Gowanus Canal we sampled with Lamont-Doherty's Greg O'Mullan, as part of our water quality pilot program.